New Zealand Listener Issue 18 2021

New Zealand Listener is the country’s most respected general interest magazine, bringing you a wide variety of news, stories, columns, reviews, plus TV listings, every week.

New Zealand
Are Media Pty Limited
52 Issues

in this issue

3 min
dangerous delay

New Zealanders justifiably anxious about the country’s fight against Covid are right to be perplexed: what’s the point of the Government and the Ministry of Health having new powers to contain the virus if they’re not used? The recent revelations that border and isolation facility workers could dodge Covid tests without consequences or records being kept were a shock. So, too, was the lack of contrition or sense of urgency from officialdom. Kiwis assumed those most at risk of catching and transmitting Covid would be scrupulously tested in a verified process. Yet when Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield was asked why this wasn’t always enforced, he gave a staggering response: he “would have hoped” all workers were having their regular tests by now. Hope is not a strategy. This is…

1 min
going into winter

The autumn afternoons have crispenedyet still sprung and cyclingare the spiky lemon bottlebrushes.Immersed in their fluted yellow,bumblebees – some quite ordinary,some potential queens – effervesce.Lazily, lazily,one might buzz the hair-trigger flanksof horses quietly worrying hayand a goat may startle at the spottoo close to her feed bowlwhere one crawls like an old dark beetlebut it will be a few weeks beforedozens drop onto the shed’s tin roof,the sound of their unwinding bodiesa sick alarm. From FELT, Massey University Press…

9 min
honouring the dead

What a thought-provoking Anzac Day special (Listener, April 24). Especially moving was David Mahon’s essay on his father’s war. Like his father, my father, Robert Patrick Murphy, served as a soldier with the 21st Battalion and was also reluctant to speak of the war, realising his children would have no understanding of it. But he did write an account, on newsprint with a pencil, of his experiences in 1944 near Florence. I read it after his death. My brother, who had it in his possession, had not considered it particularly well written, but as I transcribed the fading writing, my tears flowed. It told of the terror these soldiers faced in battle as their comrades were wounded or killed and of the physical hardships they endured. I had always imagined them to…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Mike Hamblyn, Dunedin FINALISTS Taika Waititi: “Personally, I would have Thor or the Hulk on the field by now.” – Paul Turtill Caption: Rabbitoh fans Joanne and Jolene give Taika an idea for a film title. – Steve Godsiff, Timaru Waititi: “I avoid navel gazing these days.” – Margaret Cannon, Palmerston North Title: A rooster rabbits on. – Tony Clemow, Kamo Waititi: “When I said the bunnies and the chooks, what did you expect?” – Paul Kelly, Palmerston North Taika: “Are you fans of Jojo Rabbit or Ralph the Rabbit?” – Steve Cox, Christchurch Waititi: “Right, bunnies. Let’s get into the hops!” – Tony Clemow, Kamo…

1 min
quips & quotes

“The mind cannot absorb what the backside cannot endure.” – Prince Philip on long sermons, quoted in the Daily Telegraph “The Earth is mostly just a boneyard. But pretty in the sunlight.” – Larry McMurty, quoted in the Week “People constantly checking their messages seems to me rather like endlessly opening the front door just in case an unexpected visitor has turned up.” – Sandi Toksvig “You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” – Cormac McCarthy, quoted in the Week “The Trump administration had no interest in actually overseeing an effective vaccine rollout. Biden quickly ramped up a plan to use Fema to set up federally run mass vaccination sites across the country, which for some reason Trump failed to do. Maybe because he didn’t know what Fema…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. In the 19th century, which of these symbols was regarded as the 27th letter of the alphabet? ❑ Asterisk (*) ❑ Question mark (?) ❑ Ampersand (&) ❑ At sign (@) 2. Which Egyptian leader is remembered for nationalising the Suez Canal, which led to the Suez Crisis? ❑ Anwar Sadat ❑ Hosni Mubarak ❑ Gamal Abdel Nasser ❑ King Farouk 3. What notable event took place near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina? ❑ Lightbulb invented ❑ Wright brothers flight ❑ Abraham Lincoln speech ❑ Mayflower landing 4. Copperhead, diamondback, and cottonmouth are all types of what? ❑ Jellyfish ❑ Snake ❑ Spider ❑ Toad 5. Which TV show popularised the catchphrase “lovely jubbly”? ❑ Only Fools and Horses ❑ Steptoe and Son ❑ Little Britain ❑ Open All Hours 6. Which artist, known for his swimming-pool pictures, painted the renowned 1972 artwork Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)? ❑ Jasper Johns ❑ David Hockney ❑…